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tation, that the pure, solemn, angel voice of the boy Some persons in the cathedral recognized her, but broke forth :
dare not disturb her pious devotion; they, therefore, “ Regina cæli, lætare, alleluja,
only talked quietly to each other about her misfortune, Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluja!"
and about the rumor which accused the relations of His mother, hearing the voice of her boy, wept in her husband of having made away with the boy, so that bappiness, and when he came to the end of the hymn, they might gain his fortune. “Gaudere et lætare, O Virgo Maria !”
The ceremony commenced. The poor widow ceased the choir children cast upon him the roses which they to weep, but with an inexpressible joy, she felt herself had in their baskets, and covered him with a perfumed grow fainter and fainter as it proceeded. cloud; but when that cloud had disappeared, there was
The procession was formed as before; then it stopped nothing beneath the flowers—the boy had vanished !
before the chapel of the Virgin; then the organ filled Notwithstanding every effort was made, it was in the whole church with a celestial harmony; clouds of possible to find him. His mother and her friends tra- incense floated upwards, and flowers covered the mos aic versed the town; the magistrates searched everywhere, pavement of the church. There was a moment of but without success. The poor widow then refused to silence, during which the sighs of the poor widow could see any one; she passed her days in kneeling down and be heard. praying upon the pavement where she had last seen her All eyes were turned towards her, and they saw her son, and her nights in weeping, or in dreaming, when dying, pale, poverty-stricken, and in rags, whom but a sleep had closed her eyes, that she saw her little boy year before they had seen so beautiful and so happy. amidst the rosy clouds of heaven, singing in the midst | Suddenly, in the midst of the silence, a voice broke of the choir of angels.
forth, pure and clear, like that of an angel, which sang Misfortune often follows misfortune, as constantly as
“ Regina cæli, lætare, alleluja,
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluja. the waves break upon the shore—so it was with the
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluja." widow. The family of her husband, having never consented to his marriage, sued her for all the property her knelt down, weeping—for the angel which sang was
The widow fell to the ground fainting, and all near which she held, as executrix of her husband's estate, none other than her little boy, her son, who, clothed in for her son, and, after a tedious law-suit, she was com- his white tunic, with his fair hair falling upon his pletely ruined. The poor creature paid but little attention to this ; her whole heart and affection had gone stood upon the very stone whence he had disappeared.
shoulders, bound round his forehead with the blue fillet, with her husband and son, and she heeded nothing upon
The mother crept on her knees to him, and held him earth. She lived poorly upon the sale of some jewels which remained to her, and never missed a day but she with all her strength, fearing that he would again vanish.
The children of the choir covered both mother and went and prayed before the altar of the Virgin.
In a short time her stock was exhausted, and she had child with a shower of roses; and, in the midst of the nothing to live upon. She applied to the relations of assembly, the bishop, applying to the widow the words her husband, but they answered her with scorn and of the hymn which the boy had sung to the Virgin, said,
in a loud and solemn voice : with reproaches; and, of all her property, there now
"O rejoice! only remained the portraits of her husband and son,
For him thou borest in thy bosom lives but she would have parted with life rather than have sold them. She at last dragged herself to the cathedral, The organ then again pealed forth, and never did so and there knelt down upon the pavement and com- numerous a congregation pray with so much fervor and menced her prayers, hoping that her hunger—for she faith! had eaten nothing for two days—might kill her, and that she might from that spot be united to her son. The widow's son related what had occurred to him, as
In spite of herself, of her cares, and her sorrows, she a dream which had left few traces in his mind. He was attracted by the bustle and preparations which remembered only the countenance of a female, more were going on in the church. They were decoratiug it beautiful in his eyes than even his mother, although her with green branches and flowers, and they dressed, with face was black, who had nourished him with a delicions unusual atter tion, the altar of the Virgin. It was the honey; and also that he had mingled his voice with a day of the Assumption—the anniversary of that upon choir more harmonious and divine than those of earth, which she I ad lost her son. She blessed heaven that So the story is, that when they dug beneath the stone she was abı ut to die upon the self-same day—and then whence the little chorister had vanished, they found she knelt down in a corner and covered her head with that which now adorns the cathedral—the statue of the her widow's veil.
And is arisen !”
A DRY DISSERTATION ON A WET DAY.
It was a rainy, an unmistakably rainy day: that sort | dog my screech-owl, or my sweet little alligator, than of dull, dogged, determined downfall that drowns hope my duck, in future : stay, there seems a more sober and at once, most ignobly, in a gutter-yes, drowns her, be- quiet one—for really some of them seem to become inyond hot bricks and bellows. You cannot warm her toxicated on water! indeed, who knows but the funes back to life-you cannot blow new breath into her lungs: of the thousands of public houses, in our not over-sober you feel gloomy, heavy, unspeakably stupid. If the country, may ascend faintly to the clouds, and thence soul was a spark, as some bards have denominated her, faintly descend again, and slightly alcoholize this rainshe is in danger of being extinguished altogether; for water, quite enough to puzzle and perturb the brain of your spirits are most unquestionably damped. You ducklings? He appears to compassionate the miserable, enry the very roof of the house: there are spouts to featherless biped, man, without webbed feet. carry off the abounding fluid, but none to relieve your While gazing on that happy party, I bad felt how overcharged mind. There the rain seems accumulating tattered they would have been, had they known our still-one grey, leaden, watery deluge. In parts of the term for such a bathing as they were enjoying was a tropics, when it rains—though sooth to say the rain is ducking! I left the window, and took up a newspaper still heavier there when it does fall—there is something lying on the table. My eye is caught by the pathetic rather animating, rather exciting, and exhilarating in announcement that bobbin-net is dull. Poor bobbin-net! the scene.
The water comes down with a rush and a “Mule-twist is languid; potatoes are looking up roar that startles you; it is a cataract from the very (probably that species called the pink-eyes); "jaconets clouds; the noise is almost like the noise of the sea; it are depressed !". I feel for them from the very bottom is grand and wonderful—a stirring, restless, stormy, of my heart! But what is this? "Flour is lively !" noisy, agitated scene! But here, the steady, sapping Ah! I groan inwardly, and envy flour savagely. I read rain has so dismal a slowness, so chilly a dullness : it is no more: I care not, in this melancholy mood, for the such a respectable rain! so safe-going and well-con- information that pigs has riz, or mangel-wurzel fallen; ducted ! it would never wash you off your horse (it no fall can affect me now; nothing but a fall in the washed a poor lady off her mule at Panama) or out of barometer. Fate seems to have resigned her shears for your gig—not it (which a tropical rain would be very that redoubtable instrument; in fact, empires, dynasties, apt to do). It would content itself by giving you plenty constitutions, and institutions might depend on this samo of rheumatism, and your death of cold! Aye, it might barometer. Imagine such a rain as this at Paris! Our wash you into your coffin! but all fair and smoothly, volatile friends would not, probably, recover their drop, drop, drop-pretty fast, too, but steadily, always spirits under half-a-dozen of revolutions at least. The very steadily-persevering, quiet, taking hold of the first two or three might flash in the pan, their powder day, and keeping hold with a sort of bull-dog perti- would be so damp. nacity.
One more saunter to the window, resolved to ignore The country-inn that I am in seems half becoming an the ducks, and be deaf to the exulting voice of quackery. ark, and floating on the bosom of the waters! The land Behold, a fly or chaise from the neighboring station has we live in seems melting from us, to one entire sop! stopped at the door! I gaze on dissolving views of two Heigb-ho! patter, patter, splash, splash! If there are nondescript creatures, that were once horses, and that any shower-bath makers in this neighborhood, perhaps now look like the damp remains of prodigious rats. If they are more to be pitied than I am. They must see ever they had any fiery spirit of their own, after all this utter ruin staring them in the face ; for shower-sick watering, it is assuredly only half-and-half now, and must every body be for twenty years to come at least, very strong of the water it must be ! They look as if so at any rate I should say, from my present feelings. they would drop, and do drop too, not in the common
How abominably happy those unsympathizing, unfeel- sense of the term; but the rain is pouring off them and ing ducks look! How can we use their ugly name as a term on them in showers. Flowing manes, indeed, and of endearment! Dear little duck, indeed !-malevolent streaming tails! What weather! In our Anglo-Saxon monsters! With what wicked enjoyment they waddle tongue, weather seems almost to hint "wetter!" Only and splash, there, just before my eyes, as though to say, take out the h, and in Germany you have pretty nearly "You tyrants, who slaughter is unmercifully full often, that horrible word itself! see how all-compensating Nature makes us happy when Such discontented reflections arise in the mind, when you are wretched! Next time you eat duck and green everything is seen through a rainy medium; and then, peas, remember this ; and don't boast of your superiority your vexation can find no natural vent in tears too much; A puddle can make us happier than a princi- in this case; no, indeed, 'tis too much water already! pality makes some of you. Quack! quack!”
Might not another drop make the cup overflow, and set I must move from the windows; the sight of that us all to swimming? In this damp atmosphere, too, ecstatic duck, yonder, is too much for me; my philoso- could we ever dry our tears again? We might go phy is in an inverse ratio to duck felicity. Hideous, weeping about like a willow, or the crying philosohateful things, I would sooner call a pet child or a pet pher!
HEN without rule, guided only by the vagaries of my caprice I gave —things which all tend to injure me in the estimation in the of my neighbors. Besides, I have a trick of musing pre- and thinking aloud, as I wander and ramble about, and vious I have caught more than once, as I have been passing a
num- group of persons, a finger significantly touched upon the ber of this mag- forehead, and meaning looks exchanged among them. azine, a brief ac- But with one class, thank fortune, I am always popular. count of “ The I mean the children -and more particularly, the little
Shady Side,” the girls. I confess that I like little girls. Nothing arrests relation of the little love my attention so quick as a pair of pantalettes, or a sunepisode into which I was hood coming round a corner. I like to stand and watch drawn, led to the exclu- school-girls, fresh and radiant, on their way to their sion (I grow abstracted morning tasks. Indeed, I will frequently step out of my and forgetful always way when sauntering towards “Shady Side,” if I think
when I think of Beat. I can meet three or four little girls who pass every rice) of other matters of interest, which else I should morning near my haunts, “ with satchel on arm," have been glad to have dwelt upon. I say matters of tripping, not "stealing” their way, willingly to school. interest, because while I know that my career is one The little creatures seem to like me. They will look at surrounded by simple and ordinary incidents, yet in the me blushingly, and with bright eyes, and more than pleasant relation of common-places, where truth and once, while sitting upon a green bank with my rod nature are observed, there is a something which across my knee, I have been surprised by a timid, awakens sympathy, and stimulates pleasure. I propose, smiling youngster, whom I have patted on the head at therefore, to gossip on for a few pages more, setting some odd time, coming sidling up to me, quite delighted down such simple things as I see and do, very honestly, when my outstretched hand bespeaks the coveted invitabelieve me, and very faithfully, I sincerely trust.
If I were to follow my own inclinings, I could write Sometimes I meet with a group of farm children about my obscure home by the hour, filling up many coming from the fields, halting perhaps by the roadpages with the trifling, but I am assured pleasing, inci- side fence to see me pass; the younger ones slily peepdents of my daily life; but however vain I may be in ing out from behind the skirts of the eldest, and their the belief of my power to please, the reader need not round, brown faces gleaming with delight at the pleasfear a prolix overflow of dullness and garrulousness. I ant words I address them. If I stop to talk with shall remember Polonius—that is, his precept, and not them, I am pleased at the quickness with which their his practice—and if tediousness be the outward limbs, fear of me is overcome, at the unreserved frankness I am too good a gardener not to know the use and and freedom which something in me seems always to practice of the pruning knife.
I bear a suspicious character among my neighbors. In fact, the children all appear to look upon me as a They call me queer. They cannot understand my habits, sort of Robinson Crusoe. Nothing delights them so my pursuits, my manners, or my tastes. I am sorry, much as an excuse to come up to my cottage, where indeed, to say that there is not much assimilation of everything is so royally free, where there are but few feeling between us.
Their rigid, hard, utilitarian ideas conventional observances; where dogs, cats, and all do not accord with mine ; and my idleness, and dreamy living creatures exist on a splendid democratic level of ramblings, my fondness for the forest solitudes, and my equal rights. Children are indeed your only true proneness to the siesta on the grassy slopes of cherished democrats. Fine linen and silks have no charms for “Shady Side,” excite in them surprise, condemnation, them. A play-fellow in rags, if he only possess those and sometimes, among the gentler sort, commiseration. requisites of fair-play, courage, and high spirits which And then what with the pony, the dogs, and the other children always exact, is as acceptable as the son of creatures about me, my home is but little better than a a millionaire. barn; my dress is rather odd and fantastic, and I live It was my fonduess for girlhood as a generality,
tion to come.
There are my
which first attracted me to Beatrice—a fondness becom- | girlhood has afforded me some of the sweetest hours ing in her case, intensified into a passion.
of companionship I've ever known ? Indeed love seems to be unaccountable when bestowed nieces, from thirty down to fifteen, on Murray Hill. upon the grander specimens of womanhood. As I When I was in town last, and called there, Sally understand the passion (which after all may be very (aged fifteen), was behind the curtains buried in one absurdly), it is a something in which there is protection of Hawthorne's volumes, and Miss Susan (aged twentyon one side, and up-looking on the other. I think of it five), engrossed with her milliner. And when I asked always, as if I were shrouding a form, wing-like, whose Miss Susan how she liked “ As You Like It,' which face, lain upon my breast, peers up through the enfold- I knew she had seen performed two nights before at ing embrace, smilingly and trustingly into mine. Wallack's, she answered that it was very funny!! A Ah, Beatrice ! Beatrice !
little startled and a good deal crusty at this absurdity, “ Bah! Bread and butter!” cries the strong-minded. I betook myself to Sally. Being crusty, as I said, I "Sympathy and companionship!” exclaim others. abused Hawthorne to her. She opened her eyes widely
Well, I make the confession frankly. I like bread and with surprise, and very sweetly said a word in and butter girls. And as for sympathy, how is it that I deprecation of my criticism. Then I began to unfold to her what Hawthorne is (for Hawthorne is my or quadruple as you please, provided you can crowd so favorite), and to lay open to her and point out his subtle many upon his short, round, ball-like back, and he maniexcellences, to which,, with drinking eyes and ani- fest no disposition to kick up a revolution and overmated cheek, she listened. It was pleasant to glean throw the reining powers; the gardens are free to her own crude, vague impressions, strong in their your experiments in amateur horticulture, even to the depth, but only looking clearer in their expression. It extent of the destruction of my pea-beds and the downwas pleasant to see her eye light up at my suggestions, fall of my nurslings; the fruit, green or otherwise, is to see her quick fancy catch at, and follow the threads - none of it forbidden, with this gratuitous suggestion, of my thoughts. It was pleasant to see youth in its however, that there isn't a doctor nor a dose of physic first impressions eager for the light, swelling under its within six miles; in brief, whatever you see you may new weight of wonder, admiration, and strange sensa- put to any use your humor prompts, with this single tions of delight. I turned from this companionship to understanding, that I, individually, must be allowed to ask Miss Susan how she liked Hawthorne ?
follow my peculiar pursuits, to indulge in my habits and “Oh, he's so horrid gloomy!" was the appreciative act out my idiosyncrasies as freely, and with as little and elegant reply.
constraint, as if my poor roof were not honored by your Girlhood is the opening flower with the dew yet presence. unbrushed from its surface, and I am willing to let its The plan works well. We are all guests alikefreshness compensate for all the after knowledge which community wherein exists independence entire and in its meridian and full blown splendor, it will come to perfect, and it soon grows into a kind of conceded fact know. I am disposed to admire the lofty qualities of that Molly, my creature of all work, many bumors, “true womanhood," but I must love the lovelier, gentler and occasional tantrums, is the only real potentate kind, whose eyes and smiles look upward. It is a vain, amongst us-one, whose official dispensations from the arrogant conceit, I know, to liken myself to a rugged kitchen we all eagerly watch, while for their sake we rock, or forest tree, up which the vine should clamber will even go so far as to play courtiers to her sovereignty, and nestle with closely-knitting tendrils to its heart, but and propitiate her good will in whatever way we can. it is an old, long treasured fancy, which women's con- At dinner we always meet, but previous to that importveptions cannot batter out of me.
ant hour we walk, ride, fish, hunt, chat, smoke, read, Let me be honest and confess to what is very likely a sleep, eat (some do a little of each), as we are individually weighty reason for my preference for girlhood. Woman prompted, but after dinner we usually assemble with measures my height too closely with her own. She cigars and wine in the pavilion I have recently attached isn't to be deceived into believing me a greater man to my house. than nature gives me warrant for. This is what I don't This pavilion I must describe. It is built almost like. Every one desires to be a hero to the sex-I am entirely of glass, saving the roof and the slight iron only one to the little girls unprovided with younger framework. The floor is level with the sward, and beaux-but to these, at least, my heart thrills with thick trees which stand about it interlace their branches strange sensations, and old and ugly as I am, girlhood thickly above the roof. When its wide glass doors, that will always be a life-poem to me.
reach to the roof, are thrown open, there is air and light Sometimes when “Shady Side” needs some interven- as free and pleasant as if we were in a forest. In ing scene to bring back its beauties more freshly, I will order that the shade should be perfect, and the sun in mount my pony, throw “Truemark” over my shoulder, nowise heat the structure, I have caused Venetian and ride towards the mountains in search of game. Iawnings to be erected all around the exposed sides. am not always successful, and care very little whether Vines have been trailed up the iron columns; the ceilI am or not. My main object is always gained—change ing is tinted with a light blue—the coolest of colors, and excitement. Sometimes, indeed, when hotly pursu- and the iron girders and supporters are of the same hue. ing some creature who eludes me, I very strangely find Chairs of many forms, of light willow work, are set my sympathies siding against myself in favor of the thickly about; tables on which are piled sundry papers pursued—the result, I presume, of some instinctive and publications ; on the wall to the house side, hang principle of supporting the weak against the strong- a few choice prints; a matting covers the floor. Inand I will even experience a pleasure, if the hunted deed the reader may well believe me, that this pavilion creature succeeds in escaping from my clutches. This is of all things the most envied by my guests, and on is not sportsmanlike, and I dare say, excites the con- summer afternoons what with cigars, ices, fruit, such tempt and mirth of some of my readers, but I posi- games as are voted popular, new books, cool air, the tively assert the feeling to be genuine-a sufficient smell of flowers and shrubbery, it affords no slight reason for setting it down, so I consider.
degree of comfort and happiness to those gathered I have sometimes town visitors who come up from within it. the great city during the summer vacations. I always The above was written yesterday. To-day, among welcome them gladly, but at the same time with a the letters by the morning post was one from Beatrice. Declaration of Independence. I say to them: the cats It is five years since we parted. Only once before in are to be teased and the dogs worried to any extent it that period have I heard from her. I trembled when I may please yon; the rooster's tail is entirely at your ser- opened the letter, and ever since its perusal I can only vice; the pony is your peculiar property to ride double sit and muse upon those hours whose light crosses the